Review: Ostrowski – Further Fluctuations (Pawlacz Perski, Apr 2)

I’m sure many of you would agree that record labels, even small independent ones, are often the source of the some of the most eye-rollingly hyperbolic and pretentious pieces of music description out there. I get it, you have to push the music, but personally, hearing that this release is “the end of forty years of hardcore’s aim” or that it’s “an aural abomination of near-incomprehensible horror” (yes, those are both real quotes) isn’t going to sell me on anything. On the other hand, the owners are often the best equipped to write about releases, because they are hopefully passionate enough about the music to distribute it. I think this is the case with Polish tape label Pawlacz Perski, who really nail it with their description of Ostrowski’s newest outing Further Fluctuations as an artificial entity that “gradually begins to behave like a living organism and make unpredictable decisions.” Though the album is firmly planted in its electronic beat music roots, with soft, bleepy percussion loops slowly evolving amidst ambient elements, there’s also an acute natural quality that goes beyond the beats themselves. The way Ostrowski layers several at a time to create kinetic amalgams with their own autonomy, flowing freely past any rhythmic constraints to approach complete fluidity. From the dizzying bedlam of “Chaotic Inflation” to the soothing atmospheres created by centerpieces “Projection” and “Cepheid,” Further Fluctuations is a lush tour-de-force.